Part II of my birthday surprise started at 5:00 in the morning on Sunday (psst…if you missed Part I of my birthday recap, you can find it here).
Fabio told me to wear athletic clothes and to bring my running belt, headphones, Garmin, water bottle, and yoga mat. Although I had NO CLUE what was on the agenda for the day, I was pretty excited.
At 5:30 we hopped in the car, and Fabio started driving!
At first we were heading toward Annapolis, and I thought maybe we would do some kind of Bay Bridge workout. Then we skipped the exit for Annapolis and headed toward a random area of Maryland, where Fabio pretended we had just pulled off to get gas. It turns out, that was really our exit, and within a few minutes, we had pulled up to Six Flags America.
Although I like roller coasters, the rides at this Six Flags aren’t known to be the safest, and since it wasn’t even open yet, I couldn’t figure out what we were doing there at 6:30 in the morning on a Sunday. Is there some kind of amusement park bootcamp?
We went through a back entrance to the park, where we parked the car. Fabio told me to leave my yoga mat and water bottle in the car because “we’d be coming back to the car later to get it.” Lies!! This is how he fooled me into thinking we were doing some kind of bootcamp – we didn’t really need the yoga mats at all.
When I asked him what we were doing there he just grinned and said, “you’ll see!”
Soon we came over a hill, and I saw this!
It was a Biggest Loser 5K! At this point I was so shocked and also dying of laughter – I am huge fan of the show the Biggest Loser (it’s my nerdy guilty pleasure) so I thought it was really awesome/hilarious that Fabio would pick this as part II of my birthday surprise. I couldn’t think of anything more perfect!!
While Fabio and I stood in line to get our bibs and t-shirts, we listened to Pam from Season 14 and Dan from Season 5 pump up the crowd. I’ve only been a fan of the Biggest Loser for 2 or 3 seasons so I had never seen Dan before, but after googling his before and after pictures on my phone I was pretty impressed! I remembered Pam vaguely from last season, but since she arrived super late and was complaining about being tired I wasn’t really impressed with her. Come on, Pam!
We also got to enjoy this lovely sunrise while we waited 🙂
It was another great day for a run!
Soon the sun came up, and then it was almost race time!
P.S. Had I known I was running a 5K I probably wouldn’t have worn this warmup sweater with a tank top underneath, since neither option was really good for the early morning temperature, but that’s ok. Being surprised > being comfortable 😉
Fabio and I lined up among the other race participants which included a good mix of runners and walkers. I loved the atmosphere of this race – there was definitely no judgement and you could see some super speedy racers right next to the bigger participants who had never run this distance in their lives. Awesome!
And then at a little after 7:30 am, we were off!
The race course was pretty interesting and took us through some areas of the park you don’t get to see as a visitor.
When I was a kid I went to this Six Flags all the time, so it was cool to run past rides I used to love. It was a beautiful (if somewhat hilly) run!
When we got toward the end I passed a woman who had been in front of me for most of the race, and she told me I was now the first female. I was shocked and had assumed there were more people in front of us that I just hadn’t seen in a while. Could I really be the first female?
At this point we faced a number of smaller hills and I didn’t think I could keep my pace up, but knowing I was the first girl pushed me to go faster. Fabio helped too by running just a little bit in front of me so I was constantly trying to keep up with him. He also had lots of words of encouragement, which was so awesome.
Well, his encouragement worked because soon I saw the finish line and I heard Pam yelling, “Here’s our first female finisher!”
I finished in 25:49 which seems pretty average for me. Not my fastest, not my slowest. Here were my splits:
- Mile 1 – 8:37
- Mile 2 – 8:42
- Mile 3 – 8:28
We wound up sticking around for the awards, where they gave me a plaque for being the second fastest female! (Apparently there was a girl who started after me and finished with a faster time which is why I wasn’t first, but I was happy with second!)
Then I got to take my picture with Dan.
He was really nice and congratulated me on my time.
After that, Fabio drove me back home with a smile on my face and a plaque in my lap. Part II of my birthday surprise was perfect!
Fabio knows me so well 🙂
At this point I thought all the surprises were over, but then Fabio said we had dinner plans at the Melting Pot, one of my favorite restaurants!!
The rest of Sunday was spent grocery shopping, cleaning, and doing laundry, before we headed out for a delicious fondu dinner.
Such a perfect way to end my birthday weekend.
I’m so lucky to have a guy that knows me so well and planned such awesome events for my birthday 🙂 Thank you, Fabio!
Questions of the day: Do you have a secret TV show you love that’s kind of nerdy? Do you like fondu?